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Updated: Air Malta suffers lease setback

An Air Malta Airbus leased to Polish airline OLT Express has returned to Malta after the company stopped flying over the weekend.

The aircraft is one of two that Air Malta leased to third parties as part of its restructuring programme.

The development is a setback for Air Malta since 10 pilots that were seconded with OLT Express as part of the lease agreement reached in April will also be returning.

Air Malta said it will hold a meeting with the Airline Pilots Association on Thursday to determine the future of the 10 pilots since its current requirements were for only 110 pilots.

The airline hoped the discussions will be fruitful and that both sides will work together to resolve this difficulty.

OLT Express cancelled all domestic flights in Poland over the weekend leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

In a statement issued this evening, Air Malta said it had agreed to provide the aircraft to OLT Express up to November 2015.

It said it was not owed money by the Polish airline for the aircraft lease and although outstanding aircraft leases would become payable, it had a deposit of half a million dollars, agreed upon in the negotiations, to cover this debt.

“Air Malta has taken all necessary actions to protect its interests.”

The airline said it had already started discussions with several airlines to lease this aircraft and interest has been shown.

 

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